The ‘European Youth Capital’ is a title awarded to a European city for the period of one year, during which it is given the chance to showcase, through a multi-faceted programme, its youth-related cultural, social, political and economic life and development.

The EYC initiative encourages cities to both continue and expand the implementation of new ideas and innovative projects with regard to the active participation of young people in society, and seeks to present a role model for the further development of youth policies in other European municipalities.

The EYC initiative aims at strengthening the relationship between the European and local levels, fostering youth participation at the local level by applying common European objectives regarding youth policy. The title aims to demonstrate the complementary nature of European, national and local citizenship, especially regarding youth.

The first European Youth Capital was Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in 2009. The European Youth Forum has developed a transparent and fair competition open to all European municipalities. Based on the judgement of a high-level, independent jury convened by the European Youth Forum, the EYC title has since been awarded to Turin (Italy) in 2010, Antwerp (Belgium) in 2011, Braga (Portugal) in 2012, Maribor (Slovenia) in 2013, Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2014, Cluj-Napoca (Romania) in 2015 and Ganja (Azerbaijan) in 2016. The 2017 European Youth Capital is Varna (Bulgaria), which will be followed by Cascais (Portugal) in 2018, and Novi Sad (Serbia) in 2019. The selection procedure for the EYC 2021 is ongoing; the winner will be announced during the Youth Forum’s General Assembly in November 2018.